Poker is a card game played between two or more players. Its rules vary according to the variant being played, but all poker games involve betting and showdowns. The aim of the game is to make a winning hand by getting at least five cards. Each player places chips into the pot (representing money) in order to make a bet. He may then discard his cards and take new ones from the deck if he wishes, or he may simply drop them and leave the table.
While many people believe that poker is purely a game of luck, the truth is that the game contains elements of both skill and chance. In the long run, the best poker players will win. However, poker is also subject to large amounts of variance – meaning that even the best players will have bad beats from time to time.
The game is played with a variety of chips that represent money, usually white, black and red. A chip is worth one unit of the ante or bet, and each player must place in the pot the amount required to make a bet. In addition to betting, poker also involves deception. Players may bluff by betting strongly on a weak hand in the hope that other players with superior hands will fold. They can also bluff by calling a bet made by an opponent with a strong hand, hoping to improve their own hand by taking more cards.